Alison Counts

America was founded on the rights and freedom of the people. But what about the younger people? Students and even parents have begun speaking out about schools and their willingness to ignore the rights of students in America.

ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union, has recently published an ‘Open Letter to Schools about LGBT Censorship’. This writing was just one of many reports against schools restrictions and irresponsible use of school rules. Staff and administrators have been abusing their power to not only discourage, but ban specific students from partaking in extracurriculars, and reaching their full potential.

2013, the Oregon ‘Social Media Privacy in Education’ law was approved, 28-2 in the senate. This law stated “We wanted to include provisions in SB 344 that would have prohibited teachers, coaches, and administrators from requiring that a student “friend” them on social media. Schools are requiring student-athletes, in particular, to make these “friend” connections on social media sites such as Facebook, the effect of which is to provide access to the coach (or other administrator) to a student’s information that is otherwise not visible to the general public.”

Despite this law, teachers still will force students to get on social media in order to investigate on other students. They justify this by saying the investigation is only to stop things like cyber bullying and harassment. And if the students agree, then yes, it’s fine. But still, it is illegal to force students to participate in these inappropriate investigations.

This also leads into other arguments around students rights to education.

The Constitution requires that all kids be given equal educational opportunity no matter what their race, ethnic background, religion, or sex, or whether they are rich or poor, citizen or noncitizen. Even if you are in this country illegally, you have the right to go to public school.

Even though a most states and cities have passed laws against specific kinds of discrimination, public high schools have been slow to establish their own anti-bias codes, and are slow to respond to incidents of harassment and discrimination. While in theory, students can have a discrimination free life, practice says students often have to fight hard to have their rights respected, and they still have harder to fight.